When the dead rise to eat your liver, tanks are one thing, but they’re of limited utility if what you’re shooting at is about four-foot-two, has pigtails, oozes green goo crawling with contagion, and despite a tendency to lumber with script-stretching slowness can still evade a turret-fired weapon. Who needs a 120-millimeter canon against the dead?
On the other hand, when the pustulating contagion pours out of the shadow government’s underground research facilities, or when the Omega Radiation pours down from the Death Meteor and cooks all you lackluster mopes with zombiwaves, or when the secret
chemical ingredient that makes your breakfast cereal taste so delicious turns out to have wide-ranging side effects like sudden death and post-mortality mobility (and extreme hunger), you wanna know what me and my friends will be driving around in?
Assuming I win the lottery, it’ll be the US Army’s M1135 variant of the M93 Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Reconnaissance System, manufactured by General Dynamics and reportedly about $2.0 million a pop, which puts it within the extreme-contingency funds of even a modest lottery winner, right?
As the Army puts it in its M93 page:
The M93 detects, identifies, and marks areas of nuclear and chemical contamination; sample soil, water and vegetation for nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) contamination; and report accurate information to supported commanders in real time.
Mind you, the “commanders in real time” part seems sort of irrelevant if one’s commanders are busy chowing down on each others’ brains, but I don’t have any commanders to start with so that problem seems somewhat less pressing.
Assuming we’re talking the M1135 variant, the thing’s Wikipedia page informs me that it carries a crew of 2 + 9, which I assume means me, one Army cat who knows how to drive the damn thing, and “bitches in back” (on a strictly non-gender-delineated basis, mind you). Deagel.com informs me that it “Weighs no more than 38,000 pounds,” so it’s light and agile. Furthermore, its design is based on operational experience:
The Stryker vehicle is the result of lessons learned by the US Army during the Gulf War in 1991. Current light divisions are deployable but they can not stand up armored forces.
On the other hand, current heavy divisions equipped with Abrams and Bradley tanks can defeat any armored forces but they need months to be deployed (the US Army requested 6 months to build up the heavy forces that defeated Saddam Hussein).
[…you won’t get 6 months when the dead pop up — especially not if you’re having sex in the cemetery at the time. –Ed.]
The Stryker meets both requirements deployability/mobility, and lethality/survivability.
“Lethality” seems like a stretch in today’s operational environment, since it’s unarmed — but again, who needs turret-mounted weapons when what you’re dealing with are the reanimated corpses of a thousand middle-schoolers hungry for your flesh? Just drive right over ’em, safe in the knowledge that whatever lethal virus erupts from their blood can be scrubbed off at a car wash in Pasadena.
I can only hope my surplus model has the cool Iron Cross on the version shown here, which is one of the M93’s displayed in the Army’s photo database at us.army.mil. The original M93 was German made, y’see — and, in fact, the Germans donated 60 of them for use as NBC reconaissance vehicles in the First Gulf War in 1991.